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Christianity vs. Judaism: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 26, 2023
Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ; Judaism predates it and is the religious foundation of the Jews.

Key Differences

Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Judaism, on the other hand, is an ancient monotheistic religion that focuses on the relationship between God and the Jewish people, guided by the Hebrew Bible.
While Christianity emphasizes the New Testament as a primary religious text, which includes the teachings of Jesus and the early Christian church, Judaism revolves around the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, which does not include the New Testament.
Christianity has several denominations such as Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy, each with distinct beliefs and practices. Judaism too has various denominations like Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform, differing in their interpretation of Jewish law and tradition.
Christianity believes Jesus Christ is the Messiah and the Son of God, whose death and resurrection provide salvation. In contrast, Judaism is still awaiting the Messiah and does not view Jesus as divine.
Central to Christianity is the concept of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Judaism, however, upholds a strict monotheistic belief without a trinitarian aspect.

Comparison Chart

Primary Religious Text

New Testament
Hebrew Bible or Tanakh

View of Jesus

Messiah, Son of God
Not considered divine or the awaited Messiah

Main Denominations

Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox
Orthodox, Conservative, Reform


Emerged in the 1st century AD
Dates back to the covenant between God and Abraham in the 2nd millennium BCE

Core Belief

Faith in Jesus provides salvation
Observance of the commandments and a covenantal relationship with God

Christianity and Judaism Definitions


A monotheistic religion recognizing Jesus as the Messiah.
The central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.


A tradition based on the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud.
The teachings of Judaism are rooted in centuries of scholarship and interpretation.


The religion based on the life, teachings, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Christianity has a diverse range of denominations and traditions.


The religious practice emphasizing Jewish law and tradition.
Observance is central to Judaism, with various rituals marking life events.


The faith and practices of Christian believers.
The spread of Christianity began soon after the death of Jesus.


The monotheistic religion of the Jews.
Judaism is one of the world's oldest religions.


A belief system emphasizing the teachings of the New Testament.
Christianity emphasizes love, forgiveness, and redemption.


The cultural, social, and religious beliefs of the Jewish people.
Throughout history, Judaism has adapted while maintaining core beliefs.


The religious tradition stemming from the early followers of Christ.
Paul played a significant role in the early spread of Christianity.


The faith system centered on the covenant between God and the Jews.
Judaism emphasizes a deep, covenantal relationship with God.


A religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus. Most forms of Christianity hold that Jesus is the son of God and is the second person of the Trinity, through whom humans may attain redemption from sin.


The monotheistic religion of the Jews, tracing its origins to Abraham and having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Talmud.


Who is the central figure in Christianity?

The central figure in Christianity is Jesus Christ.

How many major denominations are in Christianity?

There are three major denominations: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant.

What are the sacraments in Christianity?

Sacraments vary by denomination but often include Baptism and the Eucharist (Communion).

What are the commandments in Judaism?

Judaism has 613 commandments or "mitzvot" derived from the Torah.

What is Christianity?

Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the New Testament of the Bible.

What is the Christian doctrine of the Trinity?

It's the belief in one God in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.

Where do Christians worship?

Christians primarily worship in churches.

What is the holy book of Judaism?

The Tanakh, often referred to as the Hebrew Bible, is the central reference. It's similar to the Christian Old Testament.

What is the Jewish symbol?

The Star of David (Magen David) is a recognized symbol of Judaism.

What is the Jewish rite of passage for boys and girls?

Boys have a Bar Mitzvah at 13, and girls have a Bat Mitzvah at 12 or 13.

Who is the central figure in Judaism?

There isn't a single "central figure" like in Christianity. Instead, many prophets, kings, and leaders like Abraham, Moses, and King David are prominent.

What is the most important Jewish holiday?

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is often considered the most sacred.

Where do Jews worship?

Jews worship in synagogues or temples.

What is the Jewish dietary law?

Kashrut (or kosher laws) governs what Jews can eat and how food must be prepared and consumed.

What is the holy book of Christianity?

The holy book of Christianity is the Bible, which includes the Old Testament and the New Testament.

What is the Christian symbol?

The most recognized symbol of Christianity is the cross.

What do Christians believe about Jesus?

Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God, who was crucified for humanity's sins and resurrected.

What are the main denominations in Judaism?

Major denominations include Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism.

When did Christianity begin?

Christianity began in the 1st century AD after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What is Judaism?

Judaism is a monotheistic religion that originated with the Hebrew people of the ancient Near East.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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